Madagascar Tour #3 : The south Coast
Difficulty ★ ☆ ☆

From La Réunion, you will reach the Malagasy capital Antananarivo, then by a local flight the main city of the southern part of Madagascar, Fort Dauphin (or Tolagnaro). Depending on flight schedules, you may enjoy the charm of the peninsula-shaped city and its sublime white sand beaches, backed by rugged mountains.

Sainte Luce Reserve

The next day, you will visit the forest of Sainte Luce, to the north of Fort Dauphin, well known for giving its name to a very beautiful and colorful palm tree, Dypsis saintelucei. This reserve managed by an NGO is a small corner of paradise, located on a wild peninsula between fantastic beaches as far as the eye can see and fragments of the now very rare coastal forest. On the way you will see Dypsis scottiana and the amazing Ravenea musicalis. In the coastal forest just before Sainte Luce are a few trees of Beccariophoenix madagascariensis, Dypsis brevicaulis, D. fibrosa, D. saintelucei and D. psammophila.

Mandena Reserve (QMM Reserve)

A short distance to the north of Fort Dauphin, you will discover the Mandena Reserve, a protected reserve under a mining concession. Dypsis nodifera, D. scottiana, D. mananjarensis and D. fibrosa have been recorded along with Nepenthes madagascariensis and numerous species of orchids, as well as 6 species of lemurs.
After the visit, you will go back and stay at Fort Dauphin for the night.

Berenty Reserve

On the way to Berenty Reserve, you will stop at Andohahela, the famous hill that is home to the only population of the triangle palm Dypsis decaryi and that all palm lovers have seen at least in photo. You will then visit the Berenty Reserve, a private wildlife reserve which has been the focus of scientific research on lemurs for over 40 years. It is one of Madagascar's premier tourist destinations, famous for the ringtailed lemur troops that saunteri about with tails in the air, and also the dancing white sifaka. The 200 ha Berenty Reserve proper, includes closed canopy gallery forest of ancient tamarind trees, drier open scrub, and the surreal "spiny forest" typical of southern Madagascar. It is home to six species of lemur, the south's largest colony of Madagascar fruit bats, and more than 100 bird species. The spiny forests (or thickets) of southern Madagascar are notable for having the highest percentage of endemic plants on the island. The most iconic tree of this spiny forest is the baobab, Adansonia za. This forest is home to many other species of succulents all of great interest, such as Alluaudia spp, Euphorbia spp, Pachypodium spp and Cyphostemma spp.


Day 1 / Fly La Reunion to Antananarivo.
Overnight in Antananarivo

Day 2 / Fly to Ft Dauphin,
Freetime in Ft Dauphin
Overnight in Ft Dauphin (Aux Croix du Sud or equivalent)

Day 3 / By road to Ste Luce
Visit Ste Luce Reserve
Coastal forest, Ravenea musicalis, …
Overnight in Ste Luce

Day 4 / Drive to Mandena (just north of Ft Dauphin)
Visit Mandena Reserve (QMM Reserve)
Coastal Forest
Overnight in Ft Dauphin

Day 5 / Drive to Berenty
Stopping at Andohahela (Dypsis decaryi)
Visit the Berenty Lemur Reserve
Overnight in Berenty Reserve

Day 6 / return to Ft Dauphin
Overnight in Ft Dauphin

Day 7 / Fly back to Antananarivo (and La Réunion)